A Productive Rant About Local Business SEO
When looking at your options for an online marketing strategy, you are practically guaranteed to come face-to-face with the term search engine optimisation. However, it’s a topic that can get even more confusing on a closer look, rather than less confusing. There are many different terms and techniques to get used to. However, some deserve your attention more than others.
Here, we’re going to look at one of the most valuable aspects of search engine optimisation, especially for small and growing businesses. We’re taking a lens on local SEO, what it is, how it works, and why it can be so important in the first place.
What is SEO?
For those who aren’t fully aware, SEO stands for search engine optimisation (also sometimes referred to as search engine marketing). The practice involves optimising your website in a way that makes it “search engine friendly.” As such, those search engines, like Google and Bing, are more likely to feature the website higher in their rankings, meaning that web users are more likely to see it.
Google and other search engines prioritise which websites get closer to the top spot based on a range of criteria, including load speed, content relevance, site reliability, security, and a range of other things. Since Google looks at so many different things, SEO involves a mix of many different disciplines, as well.
What is Local SEO?
The aim and general premise of local SEO is the same as the overall practice. It’s an attempt to have your website and its various pages ranked more highly in response to relevant Google searches. However, as the name implies, it focuses a lot more on searches from customers and web users who are located closer to the business, or the business’s service area.
It relies on writing good content, cleaning the site of errors and missing assets, ensuring it loads fast, and the like, just like regular SEO. However, it also involves making use of listings that highlight the specific location of your site, such as a Google My Site Page. Local content, social pages, and being featured in local directories and review pages can all help you promote your pages, products, and services to local customers.
What you are missing without local SEO
Even if you’re quite savvy with search engine optimisation and have no problem getting your pages to rank highly in Google, you could be missing out if you’re not also focusing on local SEO.
Local SEO targets local users who might also be the most likely to convert. For brick and mortar businesses, those who are based locally are going to make up the majority of your customer base. If you’re neglecting them, your website might be getting a lot of clicks, but you’re not going to be getting too many conversions off those clicks.
Local SEO is all about targeting those who are most likely to become customers in the end, making it a much better return on investment.
The benefits of Local SEO
Now you have a better idea of what local SEO is, how it’s used, and why neglecting it can be a mistake. But what about the benefits? There are many, and the following are only a snapshot of the potential value gleaned from this all-important strategy:
Build your local online visibility: The primary goal of any SEO is to improve your visibility through Google. Local SEO makes you even more visible to local customers, meaning they’re a lot more likely to recognise the brand, to click the link, and to end up on your website, where you can end up converting them.
Online visibility can also lead to foot traffic: Brand visibility leads to brand recognition, which can be essential for convincing your potential customers to make the first step. For instance, even if they have never been customers before, when they see your physical store, they may be more likely to step inside because they’re already familiar with the brand thanks to its visibility online.
Make it easier for customers to find your support channels: Past customers could be looking for your website right now, looking for support or help with products and services. Local SEO makes it much easier for them to end up in the right place. As such, you can help with any issues they might be having, which leads to a much better relationship between your brand and your market.
Ensure a website that works well: Many of the steps involved in search engine optimisation will improve your site. Better written content, working navigation, no dead images or links and the like all make a better user experience for your customers, meaning they’re more likely to get a positive impression of the business.
Dominate the competition on Google: Simply put, the higher your website and pages land on Google, the further they’re going to push down the competition, helping you carve yourself a bigger slice of the local market.
Key stats about Local SEO
> Over 90% of all online business experiences start from the search engine.
> 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information specifically.
> 72% of all web users who conduct a local search will go on to visit a store within 5 miles of their location
> 97% of people learn about local companies online first, compared to other means.
> There are 900% more people performing “near me” searches in Google compared to two years ago.
Is Local Business SEO right for you?
Choosing the right digital strategies means knowing what your business goals are and how to align your online marketing to them. As such, local SEO will benefit some more than others. However, if you’re a locally-based growing business that could use more visibility online and is trying to grow your traffic and conversions, it undoubtedly needs to be part of your toolset.
Direct Submit is a digital marketing firm that specialises in, amongst other services, local SEO including utilising Google Business and setting up appropriate citations. If you think that our expertise could help you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us through the website.